How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace a Skylight?
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Skylight Installation Cost Guide
Updated: January 17, 2024
A skylight is like having a window on the ceiling. Homeowners like them because they open the room up to the sky, provide a massive amount of light, and keep the space warm in the winter. In addition, when hot air accumulates in a vaulted ceiling, making the air conditioning work doubly hard, a skylight will allow it to escape, lowering energy costs. The national average cost to install a skylight is $1,523, ranging from $1,080 to $1,966, depending on the factors discussed in this guide.
On the low end, homeowners pay $647 for a reflective tube light with no added features in a windowless powder room. However, you may find multiple ventilating skylights with remote control, internal blinds, and solar power throughout a large home. On the high end, homeowners could pay as much as $13,582 to install six skylights of this caliber.
Costs to install a skylight
National average cost
$1,080 to $1,966
Factors that influence skylight installation costs
Skylights come in many shapes and sizes and are made of various materials. They also have multiple features that make them attractive to the reluctant homeowner. All of these factors affect the cost of the project. In addition, you could pay more for some brands over others because of the product quality and warranty period. So let’s look at these cost factors and how they affect the cost more closely.
Skylights come in various sizes, spanning from the diminutive 10-inch reflective tube light to a massive 4-foot wide. Of course, a small skylight will be more affordable than a large one, which carries a higher cost. Oversized skylights require more flashing, and the labor cost to install a large skylight will be more. Typically, the spacing between roof trusses or rafters is 24 inches. When your skylight size is wider than that, it requires more time and particular skill to reframe that portion of the roof.
Skylight prices by popular sizes
Size (width x height)
Skylight cost range (material only)
$271 to $493
$271 to $493
$369 to $672
$271 to $493
$389 to $707
$564 to $1,027
10” reflective tube
$213 to $388
There are three main types of skylights: a reflective tube, a fixed unit that doesn’t open, and an operable unit that provides ventilation.
- Reflective tube – This skylight looks like a round bubble on the roof from outside the home. That bubble captures sunlight and directs it through the tube and into the room below by a series of reflectors. Inside, the opening looks like any other light, without a view of the sky. A reflective tube costs from $229 to $417, on average.
- Fixed – Fixed units don’t open. They provide light and warmth to the space below, making them an excellent choice for cold climates. But if you live where the summers hit the triple digits, you may want to be able to open the skylight to promote air circulation. Some homeowners prefer fixed units because they have no operable parts to malfunction and come in various sizes and shapes. A fixed skylight costs from $295 to $537, depending on other factors.
- Ventilated – Available in the same shapes and sizes as fixed skylights, an operable unit opens up for fresh air to allow hot air to escape. You can get ventilated units that operate manually or electronically. The cost of a ventilated skylight is from $574 to $1,044.
Cost of skylights by type
Cost range (material only)
$229 to $417
$295 to $537
$574 to $1,044
The transparent material used in a window or skylight is called glazing. Glazing can be glass or acrylic, single or double-glazed, tempered, or laminated. Double-pane glass or high-quality polycarbonate are standard in new skylights. We’ve listed the most popular glazing materials below with their relative costs.
Cost of skylights by glazing material
Cost range (material only)
$280 to $510
$587 to $1,068
$560 to $1,019
In addition to size, type, and glazing material, a few other factors influence the cost of the average skylight.
New vs. replacement
A professional contractor will charge an additional $119 to $216 to install a new skylight. However, expect to pay $176 to $320 for labor to replace an existing skylight.
Hiring a contractor with experience installing skylights is crucial. A roofer or a window installer has the necessary skills to do the job right. Just remember, the replacement cost for a skylight in an older home will look different than the cost to install one where there wasn’t one before.
Skylights come as basic as a sheet of see-through material that doesn’t move to a unit with many features to make your life easier. Of course, choosing a unit with the added bells and whistles will cost more. Additional features you’ll find in a quality skylight include:
- Low-E window tinting and argon-filled glass
- Solar-powered lights in the reflective tube
- Electronic open and close, with remote
- Solar open and close
- Rain sensors that automatically close an open skylight
- Electronic blinds, some with sensors to automatically close at a specific temperature
Hiring an electrician can add $435 to $793 to your skylight installation cost.
Venting skylights can open manually or electronically. If you choose a model that opens electronically, you’ll need to hire an electrician to wire it.
The pitch of a house can vary from a perfectly flat roof to a very steeply pitched roof. How accessible your roof is will influence the labor cost. The steeper the roof, the more dangerous the job. That means the contractor must employ extra safety precautions that take time.
Three pricing budgets for skylight installation
To help you stay within your budget and get the best return on investment, we’ve broken down the cost of a skylight installation into three pricing tiers: budget-friendly, mid-range, and high-end. Below, you’ll find what you can afford and the features of each category.
Budget-friendly skylight installation
The price range of a budget-friendly skylight replacement ranges from $399 to $726.
The budget-minded homeowner can afford a fixed skylight with polycarbonate glazing. That could include a standard-sized reflective tube or fixed dome. Since most homeowners are not roofers or window installers, this budget tier also includes labor.
Mid-range skylight installation
The average cost of a mid-range skylight installation comprising two skylights ranges from $1,080 to $1,966.
With a larger budget, you can opt for one or two larger fixed skylights with tempered glass or standard-sized ventilating skylights. Imagine your long dark hallway suddenly illuminated with the sunshine from two reflective tubes. Or, two skylights keep your family room bright and cheerful. This pricing tier also includes a professional installation.
High-end skylight installation
The project cost for this high-end skylight installation ranges from $7,465 to $13,582, depending on the size and type of the skylights and your location.
For the sizeable sprawling home, you may want multiple skylights in several areas and all the features to make your life a breeze. This pricing tier includes six skylights – two for that dark hallway, two for the family room, and two more in the primary suite. To pull double duty by illuminating the hallway at night, the tubular skylights include solar-powered LED lights. And, to block out glare on your big-screen TV, the family room skylights have retractable blinds you operate with a remote control. They also ventilate with a solar-powered motor, as in the primary suite.
Pros and cons of skylights
- + More natural light for dark areas like hallways
- + Provides warmth from the sun
- + Added ventilation, depending on the model
- + Provides an interior design element
- + Flexible installation options
- - Provides warmth from the sun
- - Heat loss in winter
- - Potential for leakage
- - Hard to clean
- - Without low-E glass, the UV rays fade the furnishings
Can I DIY a skylight installation?
The labor costs to install a skylight typically run from $148 to $269, depending on the type of skylight, where it will be in the home, and your location.
A skilled homeowner with previous window installation experience can replace a skylight. But installing one in a new location requires cutting an opening in your roof, navigating the shingles, and framing the space. Done incorrectly, it can compromise the integrity of your roof and lead to water damage. This extensive work is best left to a professional.
Paying for your skylight installation
Whether you’re replacing an existing skylight or installing a brand-new one, the project's total cost will be only a few thousand dollars. Most homeowners will pay for this size of project out of pocket. However, if you have a leaking or broken skylight, are short on funds, or plan to install multiple skylights throughout the home, here are a few payment options.
The first option is to use a credit card. Because it will likely have a high-interest rate, this option is best used for emergencies only. And, as with all credit card uses, pay it off as soon as possible.
Or, you could use a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Like a home equity loan, a HELOC uses your home as collateral. However, like a credit card, you borrow only what you need as you go. Typically, HELOCs are active for a set number of years.
Finally, some contractors offer financing with a lower interest rate than a credit card or other loan options. If you’re short on cash, ask your installer if they have a payment plan option.
Ways to save money on a skylight installation
If you still need help paying for your skylight installation, here are a few savings options.
DIY–Though we highly discourage DIY-ing a skylight installation, if you have the skills and experience, by all means, save the labor cost and do it yourself.
Shop around. Always try to get several quotes from window installation companies. Compare the quotes not just for price but time frame and warranties.
Include your skylight installation in a bigger job, like a roof or window replacement. Of course, your initial cost will be higher, but you’ll save money over the ala carte installation option.
Choose less expensive materials. Install a basic model if you can’t afford a luxury model now. Then, you can always switch it out for an upgraded one when your ship comes in.
Hidden damage – An improperly installed skylight can damage the roof deck, framing material, and drywall. The chance of finding hidden water damage under your roofing material is possible. The repair costs will add to the total cost of the project.
Geographic location – Home improvement costs vary by region of the country. You’ll find higher prices in urban areas and lower ones in smaller cities and towns. Check with a local installer for accurate pricing near you.
Local codes, permits, and fees – Building permits, inspection fees, and HOA fees could add to the overall cost. If you live in a deed-restricted community, consult your homeowner's association guidelines before making any exterior improvements to your home. And if you’re DIYing your skylight installation, check with local officials for permitting information.
Warranties – Some skylight manufacturers offer more attractive warranties than their competitors. Always compare the warranties when shopping.
Let the sunshine in
You know you want more sunshine in your life, and adding skylights to your home may be just the ticket. From a reflective tube to a roof window to a solar-powered skylight window, there are many options to choose one. Contact a window installer in your area for a free quote. If you don’t know who to call, let us help you find a local pro.